SEO blogs & forums alike were buzzing at the later part of last week about Google’s recent shutdown and de-index of a major link building network BuildMyRank.com. Whilst ‘a proportion’ of the SEO world continues to be stunned about this move, I personally remain adamant as I have always been wary about so called ‘link networks’. I’m not sure if you remember how people carried out dodgy SEO with article networks for a couple of years before Google clamped down on them last year with the Panda update. So called ‘SEOs’ would get low quality articles with a 250 word count written for less than $5 from offshore writers and get them spun into 100 different versions using software in a bid to trick Google. They’d then post the 100 different spun articles to so-called ‘article directories’ for backlinks and higher rankings. It did work for a 2 or 3 years but Google deindexed a large number of article directory sites last year with its unpopular ‘Panda’ Update.
How BuildMyRank Worked
BuildMyRank.com learnt some lessons from the failures of article marketing SEO by not spinning articles and using article directories BUT essentially worked in a similar way to dodgy article marketing SEO – BMR required that its clients provide uniquely written 150 word articles and then BuildMyRank published each unique 150 word article to a website in their network of thousands of sites. However, the site’s editorial control was a weak point. They were essentially building and harvesting a link farm! And as you all know – it only takes a matter of time for openly advertised link farms to get shut down. Which is what essentially happened to BMR on March 19th and closed the business down. According to the Build My Rank (BMR) spokesperson, “It was a great run”.
I can only imagine the shock on the thousands of BMR customers that depended exclusively on BMR to rank their sites.
Other Networks Shutdown
BMR is not the only private link network site to be de-indexed by Google; over the recent past other network sites have also been given the chop. Anyone remember the fractional de-indexing of the ALN site or the de-indexing of SEOLinkMonster, the content syndication networks? Is this the beginning of the end for other publicly marketed private networks? This will probably be the burning question on people’s minds.
What is unfortunate is that many companies have had to face the fact that overnight their rankings and revenues have literally disappeared. There are numerous users who used BMR exclusively for their backlinks. With the de-indexing all the rankings are now but a memory.
Possible Causes for the De-indexing?
The problem it appears was that there were just too many clients causing an inundation of the network. Regardless of trying to enhance the content and relevance, many of the private network sites suffered from being overly saturated. The BMR site offering a very easy and time-effective method of securing anchor text rich backlinks was a large part of the problem. In reality, several of the hosting sites ended up featuring content that had no relevance whatsoever to the subject of the target site.
Google’s quality driven stance is no secret really, and remember back in February, Google gave a warning about the alterations to the way it assesses links to sites that ultimately affect rankings, which in short meant they were planning to take a tough stand against sites who took an over-engineered approach to SEO.
When investing in SEO, always go by the saying that “if it is too good to be true, it probably is”. Link networks or link farms would always reemerge and would work for sometime until they are ultimately shutdown. They may work for short term sites that offer little or no value but to make a few bucks for the owners. But if you run a business you have plans to run on the longhaul, invest in long term SEO strategies. Carry out manual SEO – forge real relationships that would ultimately result in links online. Be sure to make things ethical – I shall be writing follow up blog posts on how to go about ethical SEO.